Re: Fracturing the Pacific

Date:         27 Aug 97 03:57:53 
From:         jf mezei <"[non-spam]jfmezei">
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  or MIME structure wrote:
> That would certainly solve the problem, but who would pay for it? Keeping
> runways free of snow year-round in northern Siberia would be expensive.

Arctic weather patterns do not generally bring much precipitation.
Definitely not as much as in the south where humidity from sub-tropical
areas makes its way up and is dumped as snow when sufficiently north.
Witness all those big snow storms that occur in New York city. A large
proportion come from the south or south-west, very few from the north.

So, keeping the runways clear is not a problem per say. Of course, the
snow-clearing season is much longer, and the lack of precipitation is
perhaps compensated by snowdrifts due to high winds. Operating costs are
also higher due to the high cost of living and transportation,
especially in places not connected by road to the south. There is a
one-two week period in the summer of very active shipping where goods
are delivered and stocked by each community, and this includes the fuel
that goes into large tanks that will last until the following year).

A little used airport that doubles as an emergency runway for
trans-arctic flights to Asia would also require fuel storage. Don't know
how long jet fuel can be kept in a tank and what sort of effect the wide
variations in temperatures (from -50c to +30c) would have on some
emergency-spare-fuel that sits in a tank for years before being needed.

If that market were truly profitable, I suspect that the solution would
be to develop/approve a twin with greater than 180 ETOPS. After all, if
you can survive for more than half an hour on a single engine, whether
you fly 180 or 240 minutes
shouldn't make much of a difference, would it ?